Quite often, sketchbooks and journals come with a paper band that contains information about the book and the paper inside. I like to keep these, with the journal if possible, or in an envelope if not.
Meanwhile, I had already decided I wanted to decorate the inside covers of my art journal. You see how these two things go together? No? Well, Stillman & Birn journals don't have a back pocket, but they do come with an informational paper band.
Many of my online conversations have started because someone asked a question about a page I've done...'how did you do that?' What size is this?', and so forth. Many of those questions are answered by the information on the band (which is why I like to keep them. They're great reference for later).
I decided both covers would have similar backgrounds. On the front, I'd write my conversational starters, and on the back, I'd tape down the paper band (cut into two pieces).
My technique--pretty much the same as the one I used for the background last week. Watercolor markers blended with a waterbrush. Instead of continuing on with colored pencil, I used an Ohto Graphic Liner to write my words, Sakura Gellyroll pens to color them, and two-sided Miracle tape to adhere the paper band.
I've written up my process, and the reasons for some of my choices, down below.
1. Why water-soluble markers again?
They're so easy and quick to use. I used Tim Holtz Distress markers because I know and like the colors. Any water-soluble markers would work.
When doing these, I painted the front background first and then did the back. I want to show how my choices made a difference though, so I'm comparing front and back with each step.
Pick three marker colors. Color some shapes of different size for each. Choose one color to be the most dominant (I chose the lightest-Scattered Straw). Choose one to be the least dominant (I chose the darkest-Peeled Paint). For the color used in-between, I chose Crushed Olives.
Front Inside Cover: I wanted a floral design so I made circle and half-circle shapes with spiky edges.
Front Inside Cover: I worked in areas as I blended starting at a corner and blending a little of this color and that, letting the colors run together. In some areas I kept blending until the spikiness was gone. In some areas, I let some of the spikiness remain.
Back Inside Cover: For the back, I started with the lightest color and blended it all around, staying away from the other two colors. Then I did the second lightest, and only then did I blend the darkest color.
This made some differences in how the piece came together. Out of the three colors, Scattered Straw, the yellow, scans least well. Where I had colored it, the scan picked it up. Where I blended out the color, the white of the paper shows through.
On the other hand, in real life, all three colors are more vibrant.
Overall, I get a smaller range of colors. Where I blended them together on the front cover, colors melted into different shades of green and yellow. Here each color is more distinct.
You can see some pilling (those little grain like bits) where the paper started coming up because I scrubbed too hard trying to get the yellow color to cover a larger area. Bad me! I should have added more color instead of scrubbing. But I knew it would get covered up and was too lazy to do it.
I think this is a painting of a dinner with radioactive melons and bananas!
The next step was layout and prepare for the finishing steps.
Front Inside Cover: I wrote out the conversation starters with an Ohto Graphic Liner pen. That's a soft fabric-tipped pen. Pretty much any fabric tipped art or technical pen would do. Or any other black ink pen. If you know you'll be using more water or gel medium or anything wet, you'll need a water-proof pen, such as a Pigma Micron, though.
Back Inside Cover: I decided to use a two-sided tape to adhere my informational pieces. Why tape over glue or gel medium? It's less messy. Pure and simple. Again--if you'll be using a wet medium over top, some two-sided tapes have adhesive that might dissolve. Better to use glue or gel medium in that case, messy or not.
I cut the information paper band down into two pieces that would fit and added tape all around the edges, along the middle length-wise, and then two more strips width-wise.
The last steps were to color in my phrases (I used Sakura Gellyroll pens-Metallic Purple, Metallic Sepia, Metallic Burgundy, Red Star and Marine Star) and to stick down my informational pieces.
Both inside covers done in about 205 minutes. It probably would have only been 20 if I hadn't been stopping to take photos.